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Shadows and AO only visible in Sneak Peak, nowhere else…..

Home Forums Graphics / 3ds Max Shadows and AO only visible in Sneak Peak, nowhere else…..

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  • #45256
    jezuk
    Customer

    Hi,

    I want to make my Verge3D look more realistic – so I’m thinking shadows and AO…

    However, these don’t show up on the web (when I upload them).

    They’re visible and there in the Sneak Peak, but not when I export the file and upload to my website.

    Please can someone guide me (there isn’t much about this in the manual) ?

    Many thanks for any help you can give :)

    PS – my scene is very simple, just some carved wood in a HDRI environment map (floating, no floor).

    • This topic was modified 1 month ago by jezuk.
    #45259
    xeon
    Customer

    For me, the only way to achieve the most realistic results has been to bake everything into maps.

    Xeon
    Route 66 Digital
    Interactive Solutions

    #45260
    xeon
    Customer

    To achieve the highest quality out of verge I do the following:

    1. Storyboard the project. Determine which items will receive shadows, which items will cast shadows, which items will need to be animated, which will need to cast reflections, which items you might need to click on. Once you have all this, you can begin what I call a block-out animatic.

    2. For my block-out animatic, I use only basic shapes for each object, with no lighting and only an environment map. Shading should be simple if any at all. This allows you to go through the entire animation sequence and set things up…then import it into Verge to make sure you have your groups set up correct. I stress this because rebaking your maps a second time is no fun and a lot of wasted effort.

    3. Once you have your blocked-out scene ready…bring it into Verge, create all the puzzles to make it work…your end result should be a rough working project. This ensures that your objects are grouped properly but also allows you to make sure any custom programming you need will be isolated to the proper objects and or allow you additional time to program vs waiting until the end of the project.

    4. Once completed with the blocked-out project, I move into high -res modeling. I add all the geometry detail that I can and or have the budget for. I do each object as a separate file so I can go back and adjust one if needed without having to go into the scene file.

    5. Hi-Res Texturing… in this process, I don’t care if the maps are 8K or 12K…I am looking for the best thing I can create. Special note: at this stage you need to start thinking of your texture map optimization and how or if you will be stuffing B&W data into color channels or not.

    6. After the Hi-Res Models are finished, its time to create low res models. Low res are models created specifically for WebGL following all the topology recos and limiting the vertice count. After the low res geometery is done, I bake the hi-res normals to the low-res model creating a normal map.

    7. I then sort all the low res models by groups. Each group gets their own (in my case Blender) project. I then join all the models together if applicable to create one object, and then create a one very large 8K or even 12K texture map. All of the original objects will share one UV map so it’s important to be large at this point. Render with the best render you have for baking textures.

    Depending on the size of your scene you can bake your AO, specular, metallness, shadows, etc… in sperate textures or do them all at once.

    8. With all the maps completed and all the low res grouping done, you can now import these items into your block-out animatic replacing the stand in objects.

    9. Export the GLTF and open the application in the AppManager.
    Sneak peak is okay but you will really want to see how it appears and what needs fixing.

    10. if all goes well…your scene should look very similar to how you rendered your low-res models when doing the texture bake. Should look like you rendered it using VRay or Arnold.

    I don’t recall how texture baking is done in Max but for me thats the longest part of the project. My project might take me a few weeks to model hi and low res models…then another few weeks to texture but the texture baking…can take weeks if not months to complete depending on the complexity, number of objects, your computer hardware, etc and more importantly the quality of the maps you really need for a project.

    Its a really fine line we have to walk. We have to use low poly models, we are stuck with a 50Mb maximum cache limit on browsers so our textures have to be lightweight. Performance is severely hindered by redraws so you are forced to group objects as much as possible or rely on the “batch” puzzle. Which will work…but you wont get as good as control if you just do it yourself. So in the end it will look its best…but its not going to look like that high res model and texture combo rendered in Arnold.

    Lastly is the choice between normals, JPGS and PNG files that will determine the quality of your textures…you might end up mixing the types to optimize your overal project size and performance.

    There is an entire science on texture optimization that is critical to saving space… but to optimize it you had to make those decisions very early on in the project in Step 5.

    Once you go through all this you will have the best quality that you can produce in Verge3D. And should be able to run it on a dekstop with out issue….but the next step is mobile run time optimization if needed. You might have to reduce all your texture sizes.

    Please note that Verge3D does not do a great job at texture stretching when the material has a gradient or shadow so be prepared to create a completely different texture set for mobile phones/smaller screens. Your first round of testing will let you know if you need to do this or not.

    Xeon
    Route 66 Digital
    Interactive Solutions

    #45262
    jezuk
    Customer

    Hi Xeon,

    And thank you for such an indepth response – I really appreciate the time you’ve taken to do that.

    I’m a beginner here.. and whilst I can / do understand your response, I’m new to texture baking.

    Does AO and shadows have to be baked into the textures?

    How do I do that?

    I can/do look at the Verge3D manuals but I see nothing about that.

    I’m guessing at this stage, that that’s the issue here, I’m not baking these into the shaders….

    #45266
    xeon
    Customer

    The best resource is YouTube. You will find lots of different tutorials you can learn from.

    You will also want to look into atlas maps.

    With 3.8 max support dynamic AO. Shadows are supported. You as an artist/designer will have to decide if these settings are good enough or if baking is the right solution.

    If your scene is complex lighting and AO will slow performance so it will be an on going battle depending on the devices you are wanting your app to play on.

    Xeon
    Route 66 Digital
    Interactive Solutions

    #45350
    jezuk
    Customer

    For anyone else having issues with this, I’ve found that AO does work, but *maybe* the issue here is that whilst the manual says the distance is “system units”, the display shows my display ‘working’ units…..

    So, in my case, my system units are centimetres but I work in mm, therefore when I was typing and seeing “5mm” it is in fact actually ignoring the ‘mm’ part and using just the 5 (system units, cm, therefore 5cm)….

    That’s why I wasn’t seeing any AO (because 5cm is way too wide).

    So when I ignored my working units (mm) and set this value to 0.5 (meaning actually 0.5cm), that’s 5mm and that’s when AO, for me, works….

    So, maybe, just maybe, it’s a ‘bug’……

    Oh, I only spent around a couple of hours figuring that out……

    • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 6 days ago by jezuk.
    #45362
    xeon
    Customer

    Good to know.

    Xeon
    Route 66 Digital
    Interactive Solutions

    #45546
    gaso
    Customer

    I had the same issue for the dumbest reason, AO visible in sneak peak but not in the published version: I forgot to update the project via the app manager. Just in case anyone is as scatterbrained as me. :scratch:

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